Saturday, December 27, 2008
FEATURE 17 - The Pope,a theory, and a bit of bother.
I have to admit the Pope's views do appear to have been seriously twisted and misrepresented by the media, for melodramatic effect. He didn't specifically mention homosexuality, though you'd be forgiven for thinking he'd made it the central crux of his argument, judged by the publicity. It was more a logical implication of what he was saying, than an explicit example that he used. Yet, his basic premise remains the same; that all human life is under threat unless a clearly defined line is drawn on what is or is not permitted sexually for males or females. Monogamous family life being the 'god given' benchmark. Gender Theory blurs that line and therefore is a threat, is a bad thing.
As a gay man, I never really get what the rationale is here. Where is the evidence to support the view that Gender Theory or Homosexuality is a threat to heterosexual activity and family life? If monogamy and family life are under threat, it would appear to be more from living in an increasingly atomised society - one which values the individual, over the collective, pursuit of happiness. People who are gay, lesbian, transsexual or transgender are no different in buying into this aspiration than anyone else in society, and can hardly be held primarily responsible for its promulgation. The Pope seems more concerned to support married couples in their procreative habits than encourage the wider happiness of human life. Though for him the two do appear to mean the same thing.
The propagation of the human species is more under threat from a declining sperm count, as a consequence of human environmental pollution - which isn't caused by sexual orientation, perverted or otherwise - its a consequence of corporate insensitivity and greed. Human life is still being created daily at ever dizzying rates - by heterosexual couples. Males continue to impregnate females, on a scale only exceeded by rabbits and midges. The worlds human population is growing inexorable towards what is considered environmentally unsustainable. We would appear to need a reduction in heterosexual conception, not more. And the Pope thinks that Gender Theory, and the diversity of all things in Queerdom are the main threat to the survival of the species!
I'd never heard of Gender Theory before, so I had to 'google' it in order to discover quite what had got him so hot under the collar. At heart its the age old nature v nurture argument, dressed up in post-feminist language. It ex-tolls the role of culture in the creation of gender types and orientation, as being a more pre-eminent influence than genetic predisposition. It's the latter assertion of primacy that the Pope is warning against, for him, we are born as men and women, who are not remotely asexual or amorphous in our gender disposition. But at least Gender Theory is just that- a theory, and not an absolute that is somehow sanctified and god endorsed.
Judging from the opinions stated on the internet, its not just the Pope whose found these ideas rather unpalatable. Feminists, from the other end of the spectrum, are also outraged for rather different reasons. They see Gender Theory as the male patriarchy regaining the moral high ground from them, with a sort of 'gender stereotyping affects us all' slight of hand. So, its not just the pontiff whose touchy about this theory. But he doth protest too much, and has clearly misjudged the point here on a tragic scale - tragic for all of humanity! The most worrying consequence in the Pope making this statement, is that he has given every homophobe in the Western world, believer or non-believer, something else to justify their prejudices with in pub brawls. Good will to all men (and women) and all that.
Thanks for the advice Benny.